Root Canal Treatment

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Are you having pain in your mouth? Does it hurt to bite down? If so, this could be due to a painful tooth roots. Root canal treatment, which is also known as RCT, is a dental procedure that involves removing a tooth’s nerves and pulp. A tooth’s pulp is located within a tooth’s root. If you are in pain that seems to be localized to one tooth, or pain that spikes when you drink something cold or hot, it could be a sign that RCT is necessary.

What is the Purpose of a Root Canal?
RCT is designed to remove the inside of a tooth, clean it, and then seal it. The overall goal of RCT is to avoid a tooth extraction. Although many patients simply ask us to pull their tooth, it is important to save the tooth if possible. Patients understandably fear the pain of a root canal, but we can ensure that patients are not uncomfortable during the procedure. Keeping the tooth intact is helpful to your overall oral health.
We can evaluate your tooth and then give you a timeframe for completing RCT. The treatment can take from one to four days to finish. Each office visit lasts for approximately 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the best way for Dr. Riopelle to perform the RCT.

Pain Management
“You need a root canal” is one of the scariest phrases in the English language. Patients often have heard horror stories about the pain of RCT. However, many of these stories were from another era in dentistry. The modern RCT procedure is no more painful than having a filling. At your appointment, Dr. Riopelle will keep your comfort in mind. Dr. Riopelle uses a local anesthetic to numb the place in your mouth where the root canal will take place.
Before the anesthetic, Dr. Riopelle might also apply a topical gel to numb the area, which means you will not even feel the injection of anesthetic.
After you are numb, Dr. Riopelle will check just to make sure you can’t feel anything. Dr. Riopelle will then start the procedure by using a tool to get access to your tooth. A tiny hole will be made at the top crown of your tooth. Dr. Riopelle will stick a special tool down into the tooth in order to take out the pulp. After the pulp has been removed, the tooth’s interior will be cleaned so that all bacteria and decay is gone. Then the tooth will be re-sealed. For some patients, we may also put a crown around the tooth to protect it from damage.
Since RCT requires precision work, it is important to work with a highly skilled professional like Dr. Riopelle. If the root is not cleaned thoroughly, or if the tooth is sealed improperly, it could cause complications. Patients who receive bad root canals may wind up needing another root canal, or suffering from more tooth and gum decay. Working with our professional San Romeo team, we can ensure that the RCT is done right the first time.
Patients who have extra sensitivity in their teeth might have some pain or discomfort, but not until after the RCT is complete. You can take over-the-counter medication to treat the pain, or Dr. Riopelle will prescribe pain medications to alleviate it.

Why Do People Need a Root Canal?
Many patients are not convinced they need a root canal. Some suggest the tooth can be filled, or even that it should be pulled. Let’s consider the four main reasons RCT is recommended: pain, dental decay, infection, and pre-crown restoration.

If you have pain, this is a red flag that you may need RCT. Some sensitivity to hot and cold beverages or food is completely normal. But if your pain is severe enough that it makes you cringe, call the dentist.
After you receive root canal treatment, the pain and sensitivity will go away because the infected pulp has been removed.

Severe Dental Decay
If a cavity is not treated fast enough, it will actually grow. A cavity that grows will eventually reach into the root of the tooth. When the cavity grows to the root, the only option you have left is for a root canal. Unfortunately, a filling will not help your tooth or resolve the pain.

You can get infection inside the tooth or at the root of the tooth. If this happens, you must have RCT to remove the infection and bad pulp. Infections that are on the nerve are usually not the result of tooth decay and can even happen spontaneously, without any reason or warning.
If you experience inflammation and infection, this is a sign of a serious problem. Seek treatment right away.

Pre-Crown Restoration
Occasionally a patient contacts our office about getting a crown, but the patient really needs a root canal. Root canal treatment is necessary when Dr. Riopelle prepares the tooth for the crown. He may need to get close to the nerve or touch the nerve, and removing the pulp can actually help your have a more successful crown procedure. The root canal will reduce the chance of extreme sensitivity later.

Contact Our Office Today to Schedule Your RCT Appointment
If you think you might need to have a root canal performed, contact our team at Dr. Riopelle’s San Romeo, CA office. We are committed to ensuring that you receive the best root canal treatment.
Dr. Riopelle has performed thousands of root canals. He and his talented staff will fully explain the procedure, answer your questions and prepare you for the root canal. Our job is to save your teeth, not just pull them. We make saving your teeth the highest priority.
If you’re in pain because you need a root canal, you don’t need to live in fear of the dentist. Let Dr. Riopelle and his team help you find a brighter smile. Contact Dr. Garth Riopelle and schedule a consultation in San Romeo today.

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Our patients say:

Here are a few of our many great patient reviews we receive on Google, YELP, and Facebook.

“Best Care”

Highly respected by all other dental professionals and patients, and well known to give the best care in an comfortable setting.

Michelle S.

Five stars!

Lori S.

“Great skill and honesty”

I couldn’t speak more highly of Dr. Riopelle and his hygienists. The one and most important thing I can say besides great skill and care is his honesty. I have always felt that Dr. Riopelle and his talented staff, including administrators running the front office is that they truly care about your health above all else and is not about simply about making a buck with expensive and unnecessary procedures. Thanks Dr. Riopelle for your awesome service and great team!!

Joel L.


Dr. Riopelle and his staff are AMAZING. Dr. Riopelle made me feel totally relaxed about the procedure he was going to do and talked me through what he was doing. His assistant was so sweet and was very reassuring the entire visit. I couldn’t be happier with my experience at Dr. Riopelle and I’m so thankful I can now continue going there.

Erin Pokinghorn

“Pleasant and thorough”

It took me a while to find MY NEW DENTIST Dr. Riopelle after moving from another state. The office is clean, no wait time and not overbooked which is what I like! Dr. Rioppelle is very pleasant and thorough. He actually communicates with his patients and not just goes in and exams you and gets out like other places. I love they numbed my gums before cleaning to help with discomfort. I am very happy I found him!

Sandra V.

“Efficient and professional”

Dr. Riopelle and his staff was efficient, friendly, professional and thorough. My appointment was on time and done on time. The work done fulfilled my expectations and was painless. This has become the norm with Dr. Riopelle. I am actually looking forward to my next visit with the dentist.

Jon W.